By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
During the Tucker County Solid Waste Authority’s meeting, the board discussed the issue of a shortage of truck drivers and salary issues associated with it. Presiding Chair Mark Holstine addressed the issue in the Director’s Report and it prompted the discussion. “We have a salary issue and a driver issue we are going to have to address,” Holstine said.
Holstine acknowledged that the current financial report for the Authority is doing well with the tonnage of waste being brought into the facility on the rise, but salary issues could seriously affect the financial future of the board. “One of the other issues we are having,” Holstine said. “This is a great financial report, but with pipeline work coming back, we’re starting to have stress on truck driver salaries and truck drivers. Over the next month or two, me and Jody are going to be working with Mark, probably running some scenarios of what we can do. It’s going to cost us. Our tonnage is up, so that will help some, but if we have to go back to running two tractor trailers on leachate…we’re going to go backwards next year in our financials even with tonnage being up.”
According to Landfill Supervisor Jody Alderman, the base salary for drivers is currently $19 per hour. “It’s not enough…There’s a shortage of drivers,” Alderman said. “So many people just don’t take into consideration the benefits, either. Our benefits add on about another six dollars an hour.”
Alderman attributed inflation with being a major contributing factor to the problem. “Inflation has really killed a lot of businesses, including us with that,” Alderman said. “Their rent is up, the grocery bills are up, their gas it up. At the end of the month, they can’t pay bills. And it’s sad when you can’t pay the bills with a couple of people working for 19, 20 bucks an hour.”
“Just be prepared,” Holstine said. “There’s going to be some hard decisions before too long.”
The next meeting of the Tucker County Solid Waste Authority will be held September 18th at 3 p.m. at the Tucker County Solid Waste Authority Office located at 284 Landfill Road in Davis. Meetings on October 30th at 3 p.m. and December 11th at 3 p.m. are slated to follow. There will be not be a meeting held in November.